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Effective Bid Management Tools

October 16, 2009

Thinking of investing in a Bid Management Tool? Below are some questions that helped us understand which tools to use over the past couple of years:

Engine Functionality

  • Does the bid management tool work with at least 3 major search engines Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing (Overture), & MSN AdCenter?
  • What is its functionality with Tier 2 Engines?

Business Goal Settings

  • Does the bid management tool allow you to set Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) Goals?
  • Does the bid management tool allow you to set Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) Goals?
  • Does the bid management tool allow you to set Return on Investment (ROI) Goals?

Bid Management & Optimization

  • Does the bid management tool optimize keyword level PPC bids?
  • Is the bid management tool capable of optimizing PPC bids based on day parting?
  • Can the bid management tool adjust PPC bids based on position?
  • Will you be able to preview bid changes before the Max. CPCs are live?
  • Is the bid management tool able to forecast your PPC account’s performance based on its historical data and suggested changes?
  • Can it manage and optimize PPC bids for your Content Distribution accounts?

Keyword Research & Functionality

  • Besides managing PPC bids is the tool capable of doing new keyword research and deveopment?
  • Can you research the competitve landscape?
  • How does it optimize poorly performing keywords and when is a keyword termed poorly performing?

Creative Testing

  • Can the tool make ad copy suggestions?
  • If you are bidding at the ad group level, can the tool identify poorly performing creative/ad Copy and make suggestions?

Data Sharing

  • Does it work only with Conversion Counter from Search Engines?
  • Or does it require you to place their conversion pixel and then upload conversion, & other performance data?


  • Does it allow you to view Transaction History/Audit Trail?
  • How far back can the reports go? 1 Year? 6 months?


  • Is it capable of managing millions of keywords per account?
  • What does the tool consider to be statistical sufficient data set to make effective bid management decissions?
  • Does it require only a handful of conversions or is it data intensive and requires a lot of data before it can make effective bid management suggestions?

Data Integrity

  • Does it syncs with Search Engine accounts automatically and often – allowing the user to make changes through Search Engine UI as well?
  • Can you roll back changes made?

Start Up Considerations

  • Do you need to change existing URLs or other Tracking features?
  • What is the time frame needed to sync your PPC accounts with the bid management tool?
  • Are you required to use your own API or would you be using the bid management tool’s API?
  • What is the average time you can expect for the bid management tool to start showing results in?
  • Any other business considerations based on your business model

Pricing & Contract Structure

  • Do they charge Per Month?
  • Or do they charge a percentage of Online Spend?
  • What are the Additional API Charges?
  • Is it Month to Month?
  • Or is it a termed Contract?

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